TORONTO, Nov. 21, 2014 /CNW/ - A government study on teacher workload and professionalism identifies stressors that need to be addressed if Ontario is to maintain and build its world-renowned education system, according to the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO).
The study, entitled The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO) Teacher Workload and Professionalism Study, is unprecedented in that it and a health and safety task force report formally released today by the Ontario government were negotiated by ETFO as part of a memorandum of understanding signed with the government in June 2013.
The workload study found that while Ontario teachers exhibit high levels of professionalism their workload is negatively impacted by the way in which government policy and reforms are introduced, and the time spent on administrative rather than instructional tasks. Other factors cited include class size in higher grades, the number of students with special needs, unnecessary paperwork and reports, and a constant stream of new educational initiatives as items adding to teacher workload.
"Overall, this study indicates that there are too many initiatives that appear unrelated to overall educational goals, or that change the way teachers work with not enough time to process them," said ETFO President Sam Hammond. "The study reinforces the priority issues identified in our Building Better Schools Education Agenda, including more support for students with special needs and smaller class sizes." See http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/policyfunding/memos/november14.html to view the study.
"Teachers have indicated very strongly that their working conditions impact their ability to effectively deliver instruction and programs that meet their high level of professionalism. ETFO and the government need to address the speed of initiatives, how to support special needs students, and embed professional learning in the school day. Aligning board initiatives and Ministry directives, and providing time for teacher collaborative learning will drive Ontario's education system to its next level of excellence. We look forward to conducting a full analysis of the study and to working with the government through negotiations and ongoing discussions to address these issues," added Hammond.
Along with a joint ETFO-Ontario Public Supervisory Officers' Association MOU Task Force on Health and Safety study on health and safety, a study on Regulation 274 was also released today.
The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario represents 76,000 elementary public school teachers and education professionals across the province and is the largest teacher federation in Canada. Its Building Better Schools Education Agenda can be viewed at www.buildingbetterschools.ca.
SOURCE: Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario
For further information: Valerie Dugale, ETFO Media Relations: Cell: 416-948-0195, [email protected]